About this Research Topic
Π-conjugated systems of delocalized aromatic electrons along their backbones, including conjugated small molecules, oligomers, polymers, and carbonaceous materials, etc., have received considerable attention from a wide variety of scientific and technical communities. Compared to inorganic materials, the advantages of those based on π-tectons lie in their broad diversity, flexibility, and tunability with regard to structure/geometry/morphology, processability, composition, functionality, electronic/band structure, etc. In terms of sophisticated molecular engineering, these features endow them not only with excellent self-assembly properties but also with unique optical, electrical, mechanical, photophysical, photochemical, and biochemical attributes. This renders them promising scaffolds for advanced functional materials (AFMs) in numerous areas of general interest such as electronics, optics, optoelectronics, photovoltaics, magnetic and piezoelectric devices, sensors, catalysts, biomedicines, and others.
With regard to the design/synthesis of novel π-tectons, the launch of diverse assembly/fabrication protocols, theoretical calculations, etc., the past several decades have witnessed tremendous advancements along this direction. Thus far, a vast array of high-performance π-tectons-based AFMs have been initiated. To some extent, the cooperative principle of π-π stacking and other noncovalent interactions has been revealed, and the structure-property relationships have been disclosed. Despite the existing progress, this field still faces challenges, for example:
(i) the need for scalable assembly/manufacture under ambient conditions—with low-cost, facile, environmentally-friendly protocols
(ii) clearer correlations bridging the underlying intricate relationships of each successive step in assembly/manufacture
(iii) corresponding theoretical calculations for guiding the rational design of π-tectons that elucidate the cooperative principle of π-π stacking and other noncovalent interactions, as well as the principle of structure-performance correlation
(iv) stability and durability, among the most important concerns regarding their commercialization
The advancements accumulated during the past decades have established a solid foundation for the further development of π-conjugated systems-based AFMs. We believe that with unrelenting efforts from both scientific and technical communities of various backgrounds, their practical applications will eventually be fulfilled.
This Research Topic aims to address the above-mentioned challenges, in the hope that the following themes will provide some clues to promote progress in this area:
• The design, controllable self-assembly/manufacture, and characterization of novel π-systems-based materials of well-defined morphologies/architectures
• New/facile methods for the construction of various high-performance/quality devices, catalysts, sensors, etc.
• Related theoretical calculations and/or new concepts elaborating the principle of π-π stacking and other noncovalent interactions, as well as of structure-property correlations
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.